Garden irrigation recommendations, starting from scratch


I’d like to prepare my garden to make it more connected. All I have at the moment in my garden is an outside tap and a water butt.

I’d like to build an irrigation system from scratch but don’t know where to start in terms of irrigation hardware.

Anyone have and recommendations?

In terms of controlling it and making it “smart” I’d either like to use NodeMCUs with relays (use lots of these today inside my home) or OpenSprinkler.

I have two flower beds and a vegetable patch.



I’m interested too - I am pondering some kind of automatic watering for a putative herb garden and am wondering where to start.

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To be honest Aimc I wouldn’t bother for a Herb garden as most herbs come from semi desert conditions with very poor soil and pretty hot conditions, but if you wanted to I would use a soaker hose (a hose pipe with tiny holes in it with a bung at the end attached to an outside tap or water butt with a timer valve on it). On the other hand for a green house that’s much more worth automating :slight_smile:
I’m still gathering the parts for my GH project :slight_smile: Tho’ I still don’t know whether to go solar or mains (tho’ mains is tricky for me living in rented accomadation :stuck_out_tongue: and solar is tricky in the UK)

Heh, even so, my last attempt resulted in all the plants shriveling and dying due to my inattention :slight_smile: They were in a clay strawberry pot so may have lasted better if they were actually in the ground :slight_smile:

OK, I’ll level with you - I’m looking for an excuse to mess with an Audrino or similar, and this seemed like a good idea :slight_smile:


:smiley: yes they do need some water :stuck_out_tongue: and I agree it is a good excuse for playing with relays, esp’s and pumps :smiley:

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I finished mine yesterday and it is very basic so far. I put a spare 180L water butt into my green house. I had a spare 2000/lph pump from my old marine tank. Got a cheap drip irrigation kit inc Adjustable Drippers. Got power from the garage to the greenhouse, the plugged it all into a basic on/off zwave socket. Got it timed via HA to come on at 6am for 2 minutes each day… It waters my 12 tomato plants, 2 basil, 6 chilli, 1 cucumber and 1 aubergine plants. I have a couple of extra Audrino boards coming to see how I can incorporate one to check for water level, soil dryness etc.

Start simple

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I did the same thing, however it seems that ive created a siphon in the process. When I switch it on, it works well. But when I switch it off, it still works! Although the water flow is slow, it will be enough to empty my 200L water butt over a period of hours, and drown my plants

I tried a pin hole at the top of the hose just above the water butt itself. While that stopped it siphoning, I think i made it a bit too big and lost any sort of pressure that is needed to get water down to the drippers. Now I need to replace that hose!

Did you encounter this?
If so, how did you eliminate it without losing the ability to water?
Im guessing i need some kind of inline valve, so i’ll do a bit of research too


I just use a drip irrigation system… like this and not had that problem

see how this guy fixed that problem :slight_smile:

I’ll just leave this in here…that’s my solution. Garden Irrigation

Found an app-controller valve for a drip setup. Should be hackable into a component, right?

It’s 40 bucks on aliexpress.

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I bought this. On my second use, it started not closing properly, so water continues to flow even after I turned it off. Had to toggle it a few times before it closes completely.

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You can buy a 12v solenoid, a 12v power supply, and a zwave plug in switch all for less than 30 bucks. Turn on switch --> 12v to solenoid valve = water. Done.

If only you’d posted 6 hours earlier. I bought one today. Doh!

Maybe it’s a QC issue that’s repairable? Good thing you found out soon after getting it. A dispute will get you your money back.

Will check in on mine when it gets here.

True but getting one assembled in a water proof case is worth the extra 10 bucks. It should work though.

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